GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - People who are staying at the Salvation Army cold weather shelter in Gulfport will get a free hot meal Friday night. They will be served chicken and rice with gravy and vegetables. Those meals were provided by Feed My Sheep.
The soup kitchen also opened early Friday morning to serve breakfast to the hungry and homeless.
They showed up before the crack of dawn, cooking up biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and fried bologna. The staff and volunteers at Feed My Sheep normally don't serve breakfast, but that changes whenever the temperature plummets down into the 30s.
"I know these people are very hungry and cold, and it's sad. It really is. When they're cold, we're cold," said Peggy Wade, a volunteer at the soup kitchen.
When asked if it was hard to get up so early in the morning, Wade replied, "No, because I had about three different ones call me and make sure I was up."
About 150 people lined up for food at 7 a.m. Most of them stayed overnight at the Salvation Army shelter in Gulfport, but not everyone is homeless.
"It's awesome! It's awesome! I love it! Can't beat the biscuits and gravy," said Byron Trotter, of Gulfport.
He brought his 5-year-old son, Zyron, and baby daughter, Aalayah.
"I'm here this morning because I didn't feel like cooking breakfast, and it's always good to come and get something free and volunteer. I'm sure the baby was going to enjoy it," Trotter said.
Others also seemed to enjoy and appreciate the hot food and warm hospitality.
"I'm just so grateful. When you're on disability and limited income and an expense comes up, they're always willing to help you, and I'm just very, very grateful. You're going to make me cry again," said Mary Holden, of Gulfport, as she wiped tears from her eyes.
That was enough to drive the volunteers to wake up early and brave the big chill to serve those who were cold and hungry.
"I just love it. I feel humbled by it, you know," said Wade.
On Saturday, Feed My Sheep won't be open. However, the staff will provide breakfast food items for the Salvation Army to serve at its shelter.